Rewards Club moves up a gear

Montage of Woodlands Local campaign material

With almost all of the teething problems we encountered since the launch of the Woodlands Local Rewards Club just before Christmas now resolved, last month saw a step change in the campaign activity happening in-store.

by Antony Begley

We knew fine well when we launched the Woodlands Local Rewards Club that we would run into an array of teething problems. This was, after all, the first time that a loyalty club and a fully-fledged shopper engagement solution had ever been merged within a convenience store environment. And so it turned out to be, but with great co-operation between Velocity Worldwide, Retail Solutions and the teams at SLR and at Woodlands Local, we got there in the end and now have a solid, robust system that is starting to deliver some of the hugely valuable insight we always knew it would.

The IT side of things is now more or less nailed down: the tills and the EPoS system now communicate efficiently and constantly in real-time via a specially created API with Darius, the software ‘engine’ that powers the Rewards Club.

Darius is perpetually gathering more and more data and is beginning to build a series of detailed customer profiles for each of our Members. We now have over 70 Members, a number we’re quite pleased with at this stage of the game under the circumstances.

We’ve also learned a lot in the last couple of months about how to recruit Members – and how to encourage them to use their fob every time they are in the store (thereby ensuring we capture all of their personal transactional data).

Campaign focus

We will always be recruiting new Members for as long as we run the Club, but over the last month a lot of our activity has subtly shifted in focus away from pure recruitment onto delivering great Rewards for existing Members. It is our plan to show our customers that the Rewards Club is here to stay and there will always be a promotion or campaign running of some sort that will reward Members.

Of course, we also hope that non-Members will see all of these great rewards and feel like they want a part of the action. But the message has slightly shifted onto a more ‘business as usual’ communication. We want the Rewards Club to become simply what Woodlands Local does, rather than a tactical promotional tool.

In the last month we’ve run a number of campaigns through the Rewards Club that basically offer non-Members certain deals, but Members even better deals. The beauty of the Rewards Club of course is that when Members do redeem any of these deals, we can track that fact. We can also track what else they bought with the deal and how often they bought into, when they did so, etc

Campaigns in February included:

  • Free Lunch Friday – a free Cuisine de France lunch item for Members
  • Chinese New Year deal – two sets of Chinese meal deals with an enhanced deal for Members
  • Valentine’s Day offer – special deal on some nice Valentine’s choccies, with an enhanced deal for Members
  • Ecigs deal – promotion on e-cig liquids with an enhanced deal for Members

All of this activity was backed up with posts on Facebook, in-store POS, messaging sent to Members via Darius and prompting by the staff at the store.

Big benefits

One of the most significant benefits of running the Rewards Club is that it forces the entire team linked to Woodlands Local to be much more regimented about our promotional and campaign activity. The Club is very ‘campaign hungry’ and requires us to be continually feeding it with new promotions, campaigns, deals, offers, NPD and more.

We now plan all activity three months in advance and every week a new set of POS and siting instructions for each weekly promotion go to the store to execute the activity. The activity will clearly benefit the Rewards Club, but it’s also forcing us to ensure we have new activity in the store every week in life which can only be a good thing.

We are almost at the point where we can start sharing real data from the last few month’s activity around the Woodlands Local Rewards Club so look out next month for a deeper dive into the insight we are now gaining into the store.